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worrying behaviour in crate

Discussion in 'Dog Training and Behaviour' started by leezil, May 13, 2010.


  1. leezil

    leezil PetForums Newbie

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    Hi all,

    We got Jessie, our 11.5 week old border terrier, when she had just turned 9 weeks. It took her a while to get used to being in her crate at night and for the first week or so she was crying all night. This eventually calmed down but then last night she suddenly started doing it again - really don't know why. When I got up for her this morning she was howling and repeatedly jumping up and hitting her head off the top of the crate (or purpose). She also displays this behaviour sometimes when she is in her crate during the day (the head hitting thing). I'm worried she will give herself some kind of head injury - do you think this will this stop in time?

    Thanks in advance,

    lesley
     
  2. Personally i have never used crates what i would advise you to do is keep the door open thru out the day at all times and just use in the evening when you go to bed if u desire to.
    Some dogs take to crate training well some dont I see a over used of crates all the time in my career and find it quite sad for the dogs in question.
     
  3. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    Holly will only take herself off to her crate when she is proper tired, otherwise she'll jump on our lap and fall asleep (then get placed in her crate!).

    When we first got Holly, the first few nights we didn't ever shut the door, and to be honest, we still don't that often, apart from if she's crated in the car. We shut the door, but don't lock it in the house, so that if she wakes up she can come out :)

    Just start again, and whenever she is asleep, pop her in her crate with the door shut. Have it real close to you. When you see her waking up and looking around, get her to "sit", and if she isn't whining, you can open the door, praise her and let her out :) If she is whining, keep her in the "sit" until she stops whining, then let her out etc.

    Holly got the run of the kitchen, however inside a puppy pen, so she was in a small area, but not too small, and now she's quite happy to be locked in her crate, she's 7 months now, so it did take a while :(
     
  4. leezil

    leezil PetForums Newbie

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    I don't think I over-use the crate, it's for her own safety, and she is only in it during the day when we are out.
     
  5. leezil

    leezil PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks Kaisa - she doesn't know 'sit' yet but we're working on that! We also use the method where if she falls asleep on us, or anywhere else, we put her in her crate.

    We couldn't really keep the door open at nights though as it is in the living room and there are things in there that she could chew. We chose not to have the crate in the bedroom as we wanted to create a boundary - although it is hard sometimes when she crying not to bring her in!
     
  6. I havnt stated that u have over used ur crate i pointed out that owners over use them in general!!!
     
  7. kaisa624

    kaisa624 PetForums VIP

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    Could you get a puppy pen off ebay (quite cheap)?? That way she has more space, but boundaries so can't get to anything you don't want her to get to, if you get me...

    And ok, for the not knowing "sit" yet, she is still quite young. However we taught Holly "sit" from the word go, so before feeding, going through doors etc.

    Try not to bring her into your room. If you do have to go in to her, enter the room, do something else (such as read a couple pages of magazine), then go to her.
     
  8. lucysnewmum

    lucysnewmum PetForums Senior

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    please dont take my response personally but i would ask myself, why is this dog unsettled. a crate should be a safe haven for a dog and a place that they willing go to for security and comfort.

    these are the questions i would ask my clients to ask themselves when faced with this situation - i hope they help you with your problem.

    has the dog been told off whilst in the crate?
    has the dog got soft bedding and access to water in the crate overnight?
    has the dog been toiletted before being put to bed for the night?
    is the dog old enough to make it through the night without the need for the toilet?
    is the dog fed in the crate during the day?
    does the dog have toys in the crate?
    is the crate covered at night time?
    is the door closed at night? if so does the dog have access to toilet pads in the crate?
    is a night light left on during the night for the dog?
    is there a ticking clock that can be left near the crate?
    do you regularly practise putting the dog in the crate, closing the door, and asking the dog to settle before letting him out again?
    is the crate postitioned so that at least two of the four sides are against a wall?
    has the dog learnt go to bed or in your basket as cues for settling down in the crate?
    does the dog receive treats through the crate bars during the day for settling well?
    is the dog able to hear things moving around outside when in its crate?
    is the dog disturbed by street lights etc shining through windows?
    is the dog able to hear the family moving around after being settled in his crate?
    is the dog warm enough? or too cold? in its crate?
    is the dog tired enough to sleep i.e. has he been exercised immediately before being asked to settle for the night?
    can you think of anything negative that might have happened whilst the dog is in the crate that would make him feel insecure about being in there? (this could be as random as a car backfiring outside!)

    i hope this helps you form a picture of what might be going on in your dogs mind and helps you come up with a solution so that you get a good night's sleep soon.
    :thumbup:
     
  9. Mum2Heidi

    Mum2Heidi PetForums VIP

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    Maybe.........................she got anxious when you all left her and went to bed. Eventually gave in but now something has alerted her to that awful feeling she sees as being left alone and its started again.

    I think I would take her crate upstairs and see if that calms her. If so, you can always work on gradually moving it downstairs when she is more settled.

    I started out with all the best of intentions when I first got my pup and left her for the first night downstairs in her crate. She was as good as gold but messed her bed. OH reminded me that by day, she never messed indoors so quite possibly by night she asks and we cant hear. So the cage went upstairs. The first night she asked but never again.

    I could be completely wrong but personally I wouldnt want a tiny pup of that age having too many worries, I would be concerned as to how they may manifest themselves later. She has only just left her mum and siblings and its alot to come to terms with. Only my thoughts and as I said, I could be completely wrong x :D
     
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